Which sentence sounds/looks better, and why:

You will be sent something.


You will get something.

I'm not a native speaker. The first option in my opinion looks silly, and I have had a problem finding it anywhere on the internet, but maybe I'm wrong.

  • 1
    Welcome to ELL. I've taken the liberty of expanding your sth to "something". I know some dictionaries use this abbreviation, but it is not standard; and it is a courtesy to the reader to write things out in full. We don't face the same space constraints as dictionary publishers! Sep 5 '13 at 14:40
  • I would rather say "Something will be sent to you." or "You will receive something."
    – skymningen
    Sep 5 '13 at 14:46

Both sentences are acceptable, and usually they will have the same practical effect. But they don't mean the same thing:

You will be sent X means that somebody will set the process in motion by directing X toward you.

You will get X means that you will end the process by receiving X.

How many times have you said “Hey, you never answered the email I sent you” and gotten back the answer “Hey, I never got it”?

So use active get when you're reasonably sure the intended recipient will in fact receive what is being sent. If you're not sure, use send—active if you want to name the sender, passive if you don’t.

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